Rod Fanni and Charles Kaboré saw plenty in Olympique de Marseille's 0-0 first-leg draw against Manchester United FC to suggest they can book a quarter-final ticket on English soil.
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Despite failing to secure a fifth consecutive European victory, the Olympique de Marseille players were in positive mood after holding Manchester United FC to a goalless draw at the Stade Vélodrome.
The French titleholders enjoyed some good spells in what was a tight, tactical contest but they struggled to create clear chances against a disciplined United team. Encouragingly for OM, the visitors were also subdued in attack as Steve Mandanda extended his record to more than 500 minutes without conceding a UEFA Champions League goal.
Although it was not the explosive encounter many had been hoping for, Rod Fanni said he was pleased with the solid nature of Marseille's performance. "We feel like we could have got a better result but we're not going to be greedy," the right-back, 29, told UEFA.com.
"The goalless scoreline puts us in a decent position. We matched United and at times we got on top of them. When you look at the chances, Steve Mandanda didn't have much to do. That shows we were solid, stuck together and turned in a serious performance."
Didier Deschamps had spoken about the importance of not conceding an away goal, and the message seemed to get through to his players. Like Fanni, midfielder Charles Kaboré was delighted have kept the three-time European champions so quiet.
"Considering their quality, this is a good result," the Burkina Faso international said. "They're a good team but we countered them very well, making sure Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov didn't get opportunities. I think the second leg will be more open and we'll get the opportunity to grab a goal. We know we are capable of scoring at any moment over there."
While Sir Alex Ferguson hopes to have key figures like Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand back for the home leg on 15 March, the Ligue 1 outfit should also be able to call upon two vital attacking players in André-Pierre Gignac and Mathieu Valbuena.
"They're very important for us so it'll give us a big boost to have them back," Kaboré said. There are many reasons for Marseille to believe, although nobody in the camp is taking a quarter-final berth for granted. "We just said in the dressing room that the hardest part is still to come," Fanni warned. "We know it won't be easy at Old Trafford."